The Incredible, Shrinking Newspaper

Howard BurnsCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2008

We saw a post today on Zoner Sports from our friend, the Zoner, in which he laments that his hometown Chicago Tribune is no longer running NBA box scores. We surely feel for our Windy City bud, as this is symptomatic of shrinking news holes in papers from coast to coast.

The Zoner's beef reminded us of a rant we learned about in a recent post on L.A. Observed from none other than the usually mild-mannered Hall of Fame TV voice of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, Bob Miller (left).

LAO's Kevin Roderick wrote that a friend called him to report that Miller "lit" into the Los Angeles Times (sister to the Tribune) for its general lack of heft.

It was unclear whether Miller was talking just about the paper's hockey coverage. But, there's little doubt that the absence of a Times beat reporter on the Kings' recent road trip to St. Louis and Nashville was foremost in his thoughts.

The post also noted there was no one from the suburban L.A. Daily News accompanying the Kings on their trip, even though former beat reporter Rich Hammond's blog about the team is quite popular.

Both papers used wire copy from the Associated Press but even that is an endangered species in some circles. Several major newspaper chains, including Tribune, are evaluating whether they will remain AP clients when their current contracts expire.

Less coverage, fewer readers, frequent layoffs. It's a recipe for extinction.